New Year’s Eve Blue Moon

I heard this morning that tonight is a New Year’s Eve Blue Moon night.  The Blue Moon is the second full moon within the same month, and the last Blue Moon occurred in May 2007.  But a New Year’s Eve Blue Moon is an even more rare happening – the last one was 19 years ago, in 1990.  Do we remember back that far into the last century?

If you’re gazing at the moon at midnight, what a spectacular sight it will be!  Unfortunately, here in East Tennessee, we’re expecting overcast skies – but maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of it from somewhere else in the world – are you listening, t.v. camera persons??  We need to see this rare Blue Moon!

Well, Santa has come and gone for this year, and as we say goodbye to 2009, we here at The Christmas Place ~ the owners, Santa, and all the elves ~ say a big Thank You! to everyone who has visited us in the past year, whether in the store on the Parkway, through our Internet store, on Facebook, or in any other way our paths have crossed.  It has been our very great pleasure to serve you this year.

We’re very excited to see what 2010 holds for us ~ new friends to meet, old friends to greet, and the continued celebration of the spirit of Christmas ~ “it is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air!”

We’re also excited to welcome you to our newest venture, our restaurant, The Partridge & Pear at Christmas Place, opening in early summer of 2010.  We’ll continue to keep you updated on our building progress (we have a full roof and the windows are going in this week), and tempt you with menu updates and photos of the new place.

Until we meet again, we wish you a very Happy New Year!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Wilderness Wildlife Week

The 20th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week is almost here already!  It will take place January 9-16, 2010, at the Music Road Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge and at locations throughout the park.

The event will offer 175+ lectures, seminars, and workshops; 50+ hikes and tours; and Smoky Mountain music at AppalachiaFest (taking place at Music Road on Wednesday, January 13th).  The complete class listing has been posted here, and there are sessions for both kids and adults.    Topics cover everything from the flora, fauna, and geology of the area to photography helps, musical performance, and the history and culture of the region.  A complete list of planned hikes, including hike ratings, is posted here.

Plan time to explore the exhibitors‘ booths, too, including non-profit organizations and retail businesses, and take in a basket-making or blacksmithing demonstration.  This year, award-winning cowboy cook and storyteller Kent Rollins will be giving demonstrations and classes in Dutch oven cooking.

This eight-day celebration of all things outdoors is packed with interest and fun for all who attend.  All events (except AppalachiaFest) are offered free of charge.  It’s a great way to start your winter!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

Just a quick picture of a couple of ornaments I saw in the store this week.  Hey, it’s never the wrong time of year to think about adding to your ornament collection!

Look, technically it’s a Christmas ornament, sure, but wouldn’t you hang this up all year round in your home on wheels??  I would!

Look at this very grand Old World “Glistening Frosty” ornament!  The evergreen and brown-tree motif continue around the whole base of the ornament, and he’s sparkling with a light coating of very fine glitter.  He’s a gorgeous piece to add to your collection.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

 

Congratulations to the Elf of the Year!

Other companies may content themselves with employees and associates, but here at Christmas Place you must know that Santa calls on a special kind of extraordinary helpers, and so we are privileged to work with a wonderful team of Elves.  We’ve been selecting an Elf of the Month throughout the year, and now we have an Elf of the Year, our assistant complex manager, Tanna Lowe.  

Congratulations Tanna! 

 

And a special mention of all our Elves of the Month in 2009: 

  • Betsy Chance, Floral Team, January
  • Cody Myers, Systems Team, February
  • Janice Vance, Guest Services Team, March
  • Ginger Lucas, Web Team, April
  • Stuart Maraschick, Stock Team, May
  • Wendi Parton, Floral Team, June
  • Betty Zybura, Purchasing Team, July
  • David Parker, Retail Team, August
  • Carol Mannari, Retail Team, September
  • Karen Heath, Human Resources Team, October
  • Teresa Hughes, Office Team, November
  • Tanna Lowe, Retail Team, December

ELF is a significant word for us around here, as it stands for three key principles by which we work together as a team: 

  • Empowerment – we are each empowered to help our guests and the team to the best of our abilities.
  • Leadership – both corporate and individual – we are the service and hospitality leaders in this community, and we are each leaders in our areas of responsibility every day.
  • Fun!  This is the icing on the Christmas cake, of course!  We love to laugh together, and to make sure that our guests get the most out of every visit to our store.

So congratulations to all our hardworking elves this year, and a huge thank you to all our guests in 2009 – it has been our pleasure to help you make this a most special Christmas and a very wonderful year. 

Now, who said something about cake? 

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Merry Christmas to All!

The Incredible Christmas Place Family sends Christmas greetings out to all our guests, friends, and family members this Christmas eve!  We’ve had so much fun helping everyone prepare for The Big Day tomorrow, and we thank all those who have let us be a part of your celebration in some way ~ all year round.

In case you haven’t yet unearthed Clement C. Moore‘s famous poem, here’s a copy for you to share as you anticipate Santa’s arrival tonight.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
 
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
 
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
 
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
 
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
 
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
 
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.
 
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
 
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
 
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimple- how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
 
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
 
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
 
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
 
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Best wishes for a very Happy New Year, too!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Letters to Santa

Dear Santa,
I’m an 11-year-old girl who really wants a hamster, and if you would, write a persuasive note to my parents to help me get one.  I love you, Santa!
                                                                                 Rachel

Dear Santa,
Please don’t wear your gloves because they scare me.  I would like you to bring:
     1.  Dora Live
     2.  Little People Castle
P.S. Please leave our presents on the front porch and then knock because I don’t want a stranger in my house.
                                                                                    Ashton

Dear Santa,
I want a guitar, Thomas the Train, and for me to get a new house.  Love you Dude!
                                                                                   Michael

Dear Santa,
For Christmas I would like everyone in the world to have a great Christmas.
                                                                                     Sadie

Dear Santa,
I’m sorry I did not come up and talk to you.  I was scared.
                                                                     Love, Andrew

Dear Santa,
I don’t know what I want but you know.
                                                                       Love, Sierra

Dear Santa,
My name is Emma.  I would like to know if the Husky puppy that you are bringing me is growing .  Is Christmas going to be on time?  Have a good day.
                                                                                            Emma

Dear Santa,
My name is Maggie.  I am eleven years old.  Kids my age say you’re a fake.  I don’t think so.  What I would like for Christmas is my very own kitchen.  I like cooking.  Please let it be real.
                                                            Forever yours, Maggie

Dear Santa,
This is my Christmas list:  I would like a Hot Wheels, shark bite set, a charger for my Leapster 2.  I need a waterproof watch, my old one wasn’t.  I’ll make cookies and milk for you.
                                                                                        Dalten

Dear Santa,
Hi Santa.  Can I have a giga ball for this Christmas.  I also want money.  P.S. A trained well monkey that is a girl and it does not bite!
                                                Your best friend, Miranda

Dear Santa,
My name is Kaleigh.  I am 6.  I have been good.  I want a big baby doll.  I love you.
                                                                                         Kaleigh

Two for Tuesday

Tuesday – and, counting today, three more shopping days!  Are you ready?  I think I am … I have all the gifts … I just need to find time to wrap them and maybe find some creative ways to camouflage some of the more mundane requests I am tasked with filling.  Not to worry, the creative mind has come up with a great plan for that socket set!

Do you have a cookie jar-collector in the family?  I found a most grand selection for the kitchen counter – I think any cookie coming out of this jar must be the best-tasting cookie of the season!

Continuing in the theme of collections, who’s the Elvis collector on the family tree?  Their Christmas decorations will surely be incomplete without this fabulous pair of rhinestone-highlighted blue suede shoes ornamenting the tree!

Oh, yes, there is definitely room on the Christmas tree for Elvis!  (and really, is there a need to put them away after the holiday?  I think not.)

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Food for Friday

If you’re as heavily into the food-ing season as we are, you’re probably looking for an easy and delicious dish to throw together for your next pitch-in or brunch or after-party meal.  Here’s a quick make-ahead chicken chili that is really scrumptious – it is an award-winning dish, even, having won a Super Bowl Cook-Off in the not-too-distant past.

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients
1 large jar of Great Northern Beans (don’t drain)
1 jar of salsa
1 block of Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
1 block of Pepper Jack cheese, cubed
1 or 2 cans of chicken breast meat
1 or 2 small cans of chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in a pot and heat thoroughly.  This tastes best when cooked, refrigerated overnight, and reheated.  No kidding!

A super-easy chili that’s best when you make it ahead of time.  Serve with some jalapeno cornbread and a mixed greens salad, and you’ll wow and satisfy your guests with very little effort on your part.  Now that’s a holiday!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Final Week of Christmas Place Deals!

All season long we’ve been offering specials on the best gifts and decorations for Christmas, and this is our final week!  Shop now for savings on:

We still have lots more on sale and clearance, check the link from the Deals page to see everything and take advantage of great savings. 

For now, we’re still offering free shipping on orders of $100 or more; and if you order today, we can still ship in time for Christmas with second day air delivery.

We hope your Christmas is the brightest and best yet!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Don’t forget …

… a gift for those important people whose services you rely on during the year but who likely do not receive much recognition.  An ornament detialed with his or her name is a really nice touch ~ remember  your mailman, a special nurse, your veterinarian, your hairdresser – we even have an ornament for lawyers!   Here are a few examples, many of which can be personalized.

There’s still time to order a gift for these special people who serve us throughout the year!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place